And even more suggestions from Internet ScamBusters subscribers about credit card fraud prevention
Below are suggestions #16 through #20 that we received from our Internet ScamBusters subscribers on credit card fraud prevention. (Click here if you haven't yet read the others, starting with credit card fraud prevention suggestions 1 to 3.)
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Email #16:
One more comment on signing credit cards. My son was in Thailand recently and presented his credit card at a restaurant. He had "See I.D. in the signature area. The restaurant would not accept the card until he signed SEE I.D.!! True story!!
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Email #17:
As a Crime Prevention Specialist with the [major metropolitan] Police Department, I couldn't agree with you more on your advice to always sign your credit card as soon as you receive it. With the easy availability of high quality counterfeit IDs, and the casual attention that many people pay when they do ask for ID, the suggestion that you write "Ask for ID" on the back of your card is only of marginal use.
The absolutely worst thing you can do is to leave it blank. As easy as it may be for a criminal to forge your signature, it's even easier for the scammer to simply sign your name on the card in his or her own handwriting! Now, when they sign the credit slip, they don't even have to try forging a signature.
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Email #18:
More on #5.
Ok, so all of the CC companies want you to sign your cards.
What neither they nor you explain is why. What is the theory? How should it work to protect me? Why is it better than See ID?
Other than taking the word of the big CC companies (some of whom have blown it with me) why should we do this? If they want your signature on the CC so badly, why don't they have a better way of putting it on there? That little strip is almost a joke, it is too small for a good copy of my signature, and it doesn't hold ink very well so the signature rubs off.
I think this is a very interesting subject, mainly because there are so many ideas of how to proceed. However, the idea that we should do it just because the CC companies say so is way to simplistic an answer. To paraphrase mothers everywhere. If the CC company fraud departments were all jumping off of a bridge, would you jump off too?
Hope this helps, Mike
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Email #19:
am i missing something on this id theft problem? if i am worried about credit card fraud why can't i simply inform all the credit bureaus not to ok my credit on any new accounts. if i want to open a new account i would simply notify the credit bureaus. securely of course. the same idea should work with my credit cards. i tell them what limits to put on any charges. maybe 50 dollar limit. if i want to charge more i would have to notify the credit card company. securely of course. where is the problem? this would be an opt in or opt out of course.
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Email #20:
First of all, let me thank you for putting out this fine publication! The information you present is so useful and helpful, and I have actually encouraged several of my friends (the ones who always send me email hoaxes that I don't fall for) to join.
I just wanted to make one comment regarding ways to protect yourself from credit card fraud. You mention on your website that CitiBank now provides single-use card numbers for internet shopping.
I just thought I would point out that Discover has already been doing this for years. Their product is a program called Discover DeskShop and it's free to DiscoverCard holders. It generates a single-use card number for use in shopping online and has worked well for me for many years. The only problem is that it doesn't work with Mozilla or Netscape, only Internet Explorer, and that some sites do not accept Discover. But Discover does have a single-use card number product, and I thought I would mention this to you.
Thanks again, and keep up the good work!
~Rebecca S. faithful reader
P.S. Thanks also for debunking that "Gas Boycott" hoax! I get those from time to time and they are very annoying! Now I have something to say to the folks who are forwarding them to me.
Click here if you haven't yet read our main article on credit card fraud prevention. Or check out this article on credit card fraud protection and identity fraud -- a new spin.